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Angra do Heroísmo ,  May 25, 2020

Azores to participate in national serology testing with representative sample and specific report, announces Regional Secretary for Health

The Regional Secretary for Health announced today at the Legislative Assembly that "the Azores will participate in the National Serology Testing for COVID-19, a study adapted from the World Health Organisation protocol, with a sample of 326 tests from seven islands. It will include those that have not registered cases of infection, so that it may be effectively representative. 

Teresa Machado Luciano, who spoke by video conference, noted that "a specific report will be draw up for the Azores, as part of the serology testing to be conducted by the Dr. Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute, which will determine the extent of the infection in the population and monitor the evolution of immunity. 

The Secretary for Health stressed that, "with this degree of representativeness, we will have a clear picture of the Region in a national study that will collect samples from 2,100 individuals. The testing begins now and will be repeated in five months, and then every three months until October 2021." 

Teresa Machado Luciano also assured that "the Regional Health Service and its professionals are currently better prepared to face the pandemic, and, accordingly, this study should provide relevant information to their preparation for possible new waves." 

"It is not expected, however, that this study will reveal group immunity, given the low number of positive cases of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the Region, about 0.05% out of a total of 146 positive cases," added the government official. 

“Therefore, we do not exclude the possibility of conducting tests specifically on the population of the Azores or on some segments such as health professionals, security forces and firefighters. This decision will depend on the results of the tests to be conducted by the Dr. Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute and the evolution of the outbreak," stressed the Regional Secretary. 

The recruitment of participants will comprise seven islands of the archipelago, namely São Miguel, São Jorge, Pico, Terceira, Faial, Graciosa and Flores. The process should be concluded in the first week of June and will be followed by the collection and submission of samples to the Dr. Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute until June 19. 

Participation in the survey will be subject to the authorisation of individuals or their legal representatives, who will have the possibility of accessing the results, should they be interested. 

The data will be rendered anonymous at the time of collections, unless it is necessary to report a case to the case notification system. 

The National Serology Testing for COVID-19 also intends to determine and compare the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infections in specific age groups as well as to estimate the percentage of asymptomatic infections.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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